Monday, March 18, 2013

Hot Cross Buns! Hot Cross Buns! One A Penny, Two A Penny, Hot Cross Buns!

For me these sweet little buns mean the end of a hot dry summer and the beginning of all the wonder which autumn brings.

Pumpkin a bounty, fossicking for mushrooms in the pine forest, and stacking the wood pile readying for the winter months ahead.

I just love this time of year when we drive to Essington Park through the mountains and the fiery reds and oranges of the maple trees. It's time to get into the veggie patch and pick the last of the late summer tomatoes, and fill the baskets by the fireplaces with pine cones for the fire.

A few weeks ago in our production kitchen, while we were putting together our schedule to produce our yearly batch of hot cross buns, the team and I got chatting about the superstitions around the hot cross buns.............

Did you know by sharing a hot cross bun with a friend it is said to solidify your friendship for at least another year? Especially if you sing this little ditty: "Half for you and half for me, between us two shall good will be". You just have to make sure you're not too much of a piggy and you share it evenly! :)

It is also said that if you hang a bun in your kitchen your cakes will rise and your bread will be perfect, replacing the bun each year. Most interestingly, did you know that they say it is sacrilegious and bad luck to bake and eat hot cross buns before Good Friday?! Whoops!!!

My (not to be baked before Good Friday) Hot Cross Buns
2 tsp dried instant yeast
500g plain flour
90g sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground all spice
1/4 tsp fresh grated nutmeg
60g butter
1 large egg
140g sultanas
30g mixed peel

2 tbsp self-raising flour
2 tbsp cold water

4 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
150ml boiling water

  1. Sift together flour, spices, salt and yeast to evenly distribute.
  2. In a small saucepan gently heat the milk over a low temperature and melt the butter into it.
  3. In a seperate bowl beat the egg. Add the milk and butter mixture to the flour and mix thorougly. Add the egg and mix well to form a dough. Work in the dried fruit and peel.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it feels smooth and is no longer sticky (approximately 10mins). Then place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap and place in a warm spot to prove. Leave for an hour or until it has doubled in size.
  5. Punch the dough down and then seperate into 12 equal portions. Place the buns close together on a lightly greased baking tray. Cover and allow to rise until it has double in size and very light (approximately an hour).
  6. For the crosses mix the flour and water thoroughly to form a thick paste. Spoon into a zip lock bag, cut a little hole out of the corner of the bag and pipe the mixture in crosses on the top of the buns. Bake the topped buns at 220C for 15-20mins.
  7. For the glaze mix together all ingredients, dissolving the sugar in the boiling water. Brush over the buns lightly while still hot.
  8. Best eaten toasted with lashings of unsalted butter!!

My yummy buns are available from now through to Easter at both Simmone Logue stores; $9.50 for half a dozen, and $17.50 for a dozen.

Happy cooking and go safe this Easter!
Simmone x

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